English Language Learners

English Language Learners


  1. Develop an understanding of English in the limited English proficient student that will allow him/her to be mainstreamed into the regular English delivered curriculum with optimal opportunities for success.
  2. Strive to develop in each student the ability to realize his/her maximum potential and his/her own self-worth.
  3. To develop English proficiency in the basic communicative skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing comparable with the student's level of study.
  4. Encourage a positive identity and pride in the cultural heritage of all children in the program, while respecting and teaching American citizenship.
  5. Encourage maintenance of the fist language of the students in the program and to create awareness of the positive impact of bilingualism.
  6. Encourage activities that enable parents and the community to be part of the programs and to be knowledgeable about the Norfolk Public School educational system.
  7. Actively encourage students in the program to remain in school until completion of the academic program, to strive for their maximum success level and to prepare for their futures.

The purpose of the English Language Learner (ELL) Program is to provide English language instruction to limited and non-English speaking students who enter our community and require these services. It is the goal of the program to assist students in becoming full participants in the regular education program.

There are many program models for students who are acquiring English as an additional language. Because we serve a population that is very diverse in language and culture, the ELL program in Norfolk is a content-based program in which students are grouped by language ability level. Group assignments are flexible and temporary, changing according to the learners' needs. Students spend the majority of the school day mainstreamed in the regular education program, receiving relevant, meaningful support services from highly trained ELL teachers in ELL classes. Typically, a student will spend two to four years in the ELL Program. After the student has met the basic requirements and is exited to regular education, he or she will be monitored for a period of one year to assure success in the regular education program.

The English Language Learner Program Handbook has been written by Norfolk teachers and is the curriculum that guides instruction. Lessons in the ELL classroom are centered on the four domains of language: reading, writing, speaking and listening. Teachers often plan instruction around content themes to maximize opportunities for students to acquire language and concepts. Multiple teaching strategies and grouping patterns are used to maximize student involvement in classroom activities. A variety of interactive and independent teaching formats are used to develop students' critical thinking skills and concept knowledge.

In addition, ELL teachers are familiar with the state standards in English/Language Arts and the ELL guidelines set forth by the state of Nebraska for K-12 learners. Teachers have been trained in the theoretical principles of second language acquisition and receive on-going staff development in best practices for teaching limited English proficient (LEP) students.


Purpose and Description

In general, the Language Assessment Scales will be the battery of tests used for entrance into and ext from the ELL program. This battery offers the district information about students at the preschool through high school levels in the areas of oral proficiency and reading and writing.

Information in this section provides the reader with general information about the assessment series and specific directions for the administration.

Used by

ELL certified teachers
ELL paraeducators who have been trained
School psychologists
Additional professionals who have been trained


Assessment is a key piece of any educational program. Norfolk Public School district supports the use of assessment in the English Language Learner program as being of prime importance at several levels. The purposes are as follows:
1. Student placement
2. Measuring student progress
3. Student exit from ELL program
4. Providing the district with information that is helpful in program evaluation

No single instrument should be the sole determiner in making student decisions. The value of observational data and informal assessment should be given consideration in making all decisions.

Review teams can be convened for the purpose of assisting teachers and administrators in making student decisions.